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You can distinguish if an atom has a full octet by their number of valence electrons and core electrons. With these numbers you can determine how shells would fill up. Essentially a full octet means that an atom would have 8 valence electrons (a noble gas). In their efforts to bond, atoms look to form a full octet.
Each orbital requires an octet of 8 valence electrons. If for example the element being observed is Ca or calcium its best to lose 2 electrons rather than gain 6 because gaining 6 additional electrons would make it very unstable.
katietietsworth_3c wrote:How can you distinguish if an element has a full octet? Does each orbital have to have a full octet before moving to the next orbital?
Only noble gasses in their natural state have an octet. However, there are two ways to figure out how many electrons an element needs to complete an octet.
One, you can look at the periodic table and based on the group of the element, you can see if it need +1, +2, etc.
Another way to do this is with the electrons configuration. Since electron configurations are based on lowest to highest energy, the higher energy tells you how many electrons you need.
Nicole Jakiel 4F wrote:A full octet has eight valence electrons in it, and yes, each orbital needs to have eight electrons in it before you can move to the next orbital.
An orbital can have a maximum of 2 electrons, not 8.
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